Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Make 2009 A Green Year

New Year’s resolutions. We all make them, then we all don’t keep them. Well, some of us might, but not many. Maybe they’re too big and overwhelming to keep or too small to remember. Or maybe we make New Year’s resolutions that usually only affect ourselves, so there aren’t consequences if we don’t keep them.

2009 is a new beginning — we have a new president and many are optimistic for positive change. But Barack Obama has a big job ahead of him. The economy, the war and taxes aside, he faces innumerable challenges with the current environmental crisis. And even though it’s a cliché, he needs our help.

So this year, why not make New Year’s resolutions for the environment? It may sound like an idea that’s too big and impossible. But it doesn’t have to be big and it is possible (see story below). Here are some options:

— If you know you’re not good at keeping resolutions, some time this week or next, replace one light bulb in your home with an Energy Star qualified compact fluorescent light bulb. B&G Hardware in Williamsburg sells them, so call your local hardware store and check. They use 75 percent less energy and last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs (energys, so you can replace one and probably forget about
it for the rest of the year. It will save you money and conserve energy.

— Decorate your home with a snake plant, spider plant, gerbera daisy (right), Christmas cactus or a rubber plant. It will not only look pretty all year long — it will also remove toxins from the air so you can breathe healthier.

— Purchase one or two canvas tote bags. Store them in your car if you have one, or fold them up small enough to fit in your purse or even your coat pocket. If you have a reusable bag with you at all times, you don’t have to worry about collecting more plastic bags that take up to 1,000 years to degrade.

— And if you’re up for a commitment, resolve to recycle. It will keep bottles, cans and paper out of our landfills.

— Or, if you’re feeling generous, visit and purchase carbon offsets. You can replace the carbon footprint generated from the day-to-day activities at your home, or after you’ve taken a vacation.

So this year, make a green resolution. It doesn’t have to be big, and it doesn’t have to involve much energy (pun intended). If everyone made just one green change, imagine the impact it would have.

Daisy image courtesy of Dez Pain

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